APPROACHES FOR EVALUATING THE NRC RESIDENT RESEARCH ASSOCIATESHIP PROGRAM AT NIST

Board on Higher Education and Workforce

Policy and Global Affairs Division

John Sislin, Editor

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu



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APPROACHES FOR EVALUATING THE NRC RESIDENT RESEARCH ASSOCIATESHIP PROGRAM AT NIST Board on Higher Education and Workforce Policy and Global Affairs Division John Sislin, Editor THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This project was supported by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Grant No. SB1341-04-C-0001. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-11218-5 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-11218-4 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, D.C. 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Suggested citation: National Research Council. 2007. Approaches for Evaluating the NRC Resident Research Associateship Program at NIST. Board of Higher Education and Workforce. John Sislin, ed. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. Copyright 2007 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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Committee on Approaches for the Evaluation of the NIST/NRC Postdoctoral Research Associateships Program Isaac Sanchez, Ph.D., (Chair), William J. Murray Endowed Chair in Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Texas Burt Barnow, Ph.D., Associate Director, Institute for Policy Studies, Johns Hopkins University Kathryn Newcomer, Ph.D., Director of the Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration program and Associate Director of the School of Public Policy and Public Administration, George Washington University Georgine Pion, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor, Department of Psychology and Human Development, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University Study Staff Peter Henderson, Board Director John Sislin, Study Director Jim Voytuk, Senior Program Officer Kara Murphy, Program Assistant Rae Allen, Administrative Assistant v

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Board on Higher Education and Workforce Ronald Ehrenberg, Ph.D., (Chair), Irving M. Ives Professor, Industrial and Labor Relations and Economics, Cornell University Burt Barnow, Ph.D., Associate Director, Institute for Policy Studies, Johns Hopkins University Donald L. Bitzer, Ph.D., Distinguished University Research Professor, Computer Science Department, North Carolina State University Carlos G. Gutierrez, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, California State University Donald Johnson, Ph.D., Vice President (retired), Product and Process Technology, Grain Processing Corporation Claudia Mitchell-Kernan, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor of Graduate Studies and Dean, Graduate Division, University of California, Los Angeles Michael Nettles, Ph.D., Edmund W. Gordon Chair for Policy Evaluation and Research Educational Testing Service Debra Stewart, Ph.D., President, The Council of Graduate Schools Tadataka Yamada, M.D., Chairman, Research and Development, GlaxoSmithKline Staff Peter Henderson, Board Director Jim Voytuk, Senior Program Officer John Sislin, Program Officer Jim McKinney, Financial Associate Kara Murphy, Program Assistant Rae Allen, Administrative Assistant vi

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Preface and Acknowledgments In 2004, the NRC Resident Research Associateship Program at NIST celebrated its 50th anniversary. The Program, administered by the Fellowships Office of the National Research Council (NRC), and carried out at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), provides postdoctoral opportunities in the sciences and engineering. Over the past 53 years, the program has supported over 1,300 Research Associates. Anecdotally, the program is seen by current and former participants and staff at NIST and the NRC as a successful means to engage postdoctorates in important research and continue their training, as well as to assist NIST in meeting its mission, and grow a larger and more talented pool of scientists and engineers. There have been limited attempts to evaluate the program in general, using more quantitative evidence. This report was designed to assess the program, based on currently-available evidence and suggest approaches that NIST might consider in collecting data on the program and subjecting it to a more rigorous assessment. It was strongly hoped by the committee that NIST would undertake a more in-depth evaluation in the future and that this study would help lay some of the groundwork for NIST. This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Academies’ Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Dean Atkinson, Portland State University; Donald Bitzer, North Carolina State University; Booker Stephen Carpenter, National Institute of Standards and Technology (retired); Michael J. Finn, Oak Ridge Associated Universities; Jason Floyd, Hughes Associates, Inc.; Lee Sechrest, University of Arizona; Lewis Siegel, National Science Foundation; and Paula Stephan, Georgia State University. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Charles Phelps, University of Rochester. Appointed by the National Academies, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. vii

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In addition, the committee would like to thank Jeovanny Paz, Jim Voytuk, Joe Finan, Charlie Fink, Suzanne White, Ray Gamble, and all in The National Academies’ Fellowships Office. In addition, we would like to thank Claire Saundry, Susan Heller-Zeisler, Hratch Semerjian and a special thanks to everyone at NIST who participated on our expert panels. Isaac Sanchez, Chair viii

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Contents Executive Summary 1 1 Overview 6 Federal Programs to Support Postdocs in S&E 6 The NRC Resident Research Associateship Program at NIST 9 The Role of the National Academies 11 The Committee’s Charge 12 Approach and Scope 12 Sources of Information 14 Outline of Report 22 2 Recruitment and Selection 23 Trends in Doctorates and Postdoctorates 23 The Selection Process 26 Recruitment 28 Preliminary Results 34 Characteristics of Applicants and Awardees 35 Preliminary Results 59 Recommendations 59 3 Research Associates’ Experiences 61 Productivity During the Postdoctoral Appointment 63 Research Associates’ Views of the Program 67 Research Advisors’ Evaluation of Research Associates 72 Preliminary Results 72 Recommendations 73 4 Careers 80 Research Associates’ Careers 80 Preliminary Results 83 Recommendations 84 5 Preliminary Results and Recommendations 88 Preliminary Results 88 Recommendations 89 Bibliography 92 Appendixes A Committee Members Biographical Information 95 B Survey of Earned Doctorates 97 C Data on Science & Engineering Doctorates 105 D Application for Research Associate Programs 114 E Examination of Applications to Prospective Programs 126 F Ph.D. Fields by Broad Category 146 G Names of Laboratories 151 H Research Associateship Final Report 152 I Evaluation of Associate by Adviser 155 ix

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List of Tables, Figures, and Boxes TABLES TABLE 1-1 Selected National Research Council Research Associateship Programs, 8 TABLE 1-2 Summary of Primary Data Sources, 15 TABLE 2-1 Science and Engineering Postdoctoral Appointees in Doctorate-Granting Institutions, by Field, 1998-2005, 25 TABLE 2-2 Percent of Doctoral Recipients with Definite Commitments Who Plan Postdoctoral Study or Research, by Broad Field of Study, 1982 and 2002, 25 TABLE 2-3 How Applicants First Heard About the Research Associateship Program, 1989-2007, 30 TABLE 2-4 How Applicants to the NIST/NRC Research Associateship Program First Heard About the Program, 1989-2007, 31 TABLE 2-5 How Applicants to the NIST/NRC Research Associateship Program First Heard About the Program, by Gender, 1989-2007, 32 TABLE 2-6 How Applicants to the NIST/NRC Research Associateship Program First Heard About the Program, by Race/Ethnicity, 1989-2007, 32 TABLE 2-7 Percent of Awardees Among Applicants by Source of Information About the Program, 1965-2007, 33 TABLE 2-8 Percent of Awardees by Source of Information About the Research Associateship Program, 1965-2007, 33 TABLE 2-9 Applications, by Research Associateship Program and Major Field of Applicants, 1965-2007, 37 TABLE 2-10 Awards, by Research Associateship Program and Major Field of Applicants, 1965- 2007, 37 TABLE 2-11 Percent of Awards, by Research Associateship Program and Major Field of Applicants, 1965-2007, 38 TABLE 2-12 Top 20 Institutions from Which Applications Originated, by Research Associateship Program, 1965-2007, 47 TABLE 2-13 Top 20 Institutions of Awardees, by Research Associateship Program, 1965-2007, 48 TABLE 2-14 Number of Universities from Which Applicants and Awardees Received Their Ph.D.s, by Field, 1965-2007, 49 TABLE 2-15 Most Common Doctoral-Granting Institutions of Applicants to the NIST/NRC Research Associateship Program, by Major Field, 1965-2007, 49 TABLE 2-16 Most Common Doctoral-Granting Institutions of NIST/NRC Research Associates, by Major Field, 1965-2007, 51 TABLE 2-17 Applications and Awards for the NIST/NRC Research Associateship Program, by Laboratory, 1965-2007, 56 TABLE 2-18 Applications and Awards for the NIST/NRC Research Associateship Program, by Laboratory and Gender, 1965-2007, 57 TABLE 2-19 Number of Individuals Offered a Research Associateship Who Decline, by Research Associateship Program, 1965-2007, 58 x

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TABLE 3-1 Number of Articles Published in Peer-Reviewed Journals by Associates, by Program, 64 TABLE 3-2 Number of Domestic Presentations, by Program, 65 TABLE 3-3 Number of International Presentations, by Program, 66 TABLE 3-4 Number of Patents, by Program, 66 TABLE 3-5 Number of Awards, by Program, 67 TABLE 3-6 Research Associates’ Appraisal of the Short-Term Value of the Research Associateship Program, by Program, 68 TABLE 3-7 Research Associates’ Appraisal of the Long-Term Value of the Research Associateship Programs, by Program, 69 TABLE 3-8 Research Associates’ Appraisal of Laboratory Support Research Associateship Program, by Program, 69 TABLE 3-9 Research Associates’ Appraisal of the Quality of Mentoring by Their Advisor, by Program, 70 TABLE 3-10 Research Associates’ Appraisal of Support at Their Host Agency, by Program, 71 TABLE 3-11 Research Associates’ Appraisal of the Support of the NRC, by Program, 72 TABLE 4-1 Immediate Employment of Research Associates Following Postdoctoral Appointment, by Program, 81 TABLE 4-2 Current Employment of Former Research Associates, by Program, 82 TABLE 4-3 Number of Former NIST/NRC Research Associates Who Converted to Career- Conditional or Term Appointments After Their Postdoctoral Appointments, 83 FIGURES FIGURE 2-1 Number of applications to Research Associateship Programs, by program, 1965-2007, 35 FIGURE 2-2 Percent of awards among applications, by Research Associateship Program, 1965-2007, 36 FIGURE 2-3 Percent of applications from women, by Research Associateship Program, 1965-2007, 38 FIGURE 2-4 Percent of awardees who are women, by Research Associateship Program, 1965-2007, 39 FIGURE 2-5 Success rate of applications to NIST/NRC Research Associateship Program, by gender, 1965-2007, 40 FIGURE 2-6 Success rate of applications to all other Research Associateship Programs, by gender, 1965-2007, 41 FIGURE 2-7 Percent of applications from underrepresented minorities, by Research Associateship Program, 1980-2007, 42 FIGURE 2-8 Percent of awards to underrepresented minorities, by Research Associateship Program, 1980-2007, 43 FIGURE 2-9 Success rate of applications to NIST/NRC Research Associateship Program, by race/ethnicity, 1965-2007, 44 FIGURE 2-10 Success rate of applications to all other Research Associateship Programs, by race/ethnicity, 1965-2007, 45 xi

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FIGURE 2-11 Number of doctoral-granting institutions for applicants to the NIST/NRC Research Associateship Program, 1965-2007, 46 FIGURE 2-12 Average age of applicants and awardees, by Research Associateship Program, 1965-2007, 53 FIGURE 2-13 Percent of applicants who are married, by Research Associateship Program, 1965-2007, 54 FIGURE 2-14 Percent of awardees who are married, by Research Associateship Program, 1965-2007, 55 BOXES Box 1-1 Expert Panel Questions, 21 Box 2-1 Review Criteria, 27 Box 3-1 Suggested Final Report for Research Associates, 74 Box 3-2 Suggested Research Adviser Evaluation, 78 Box 4-1 Career Assessment Survey of Former Research Associates, 85 xii